September 4, 2018
| On 10 months ago

England announce 13-man squad for 5th Test

By Chaitanya Laxman

England cricket board has announced their squad for the 5th Test which comprises of 13 players. As expected there are no massive changes in the team. Only James Vince is released from the squad while Chris Woakes who has recovered from an injury has made a comeback in the team.

The attention, however, will be on Alastair Cook who has decided to hang his boots after the 5th Test. The legendary England batsman will be seen opening the innings for England team for the one last time as ECB gears up to bid adieu to their most successful Test batsman.

The ECB announced the squad on their website and on Twitter.

Keaton Jennings who has struggled throughout the series still retains his position as Cook’s partner to open the innings. Talks of the axing of Jennings were going on throughout the series but the England team management has shown faith in the youngster.

The middle order comprises of skipper Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Butler and Moeen Ali. Ollie Pope who made his Test debut during the Test series has been recalled in the squad. However, it is unsure at which position he will bat if he is part of the playing XI.

James Vince who was roped in the team as a cover for injured Bairstow has been released. Bairstow has been named as the designated wicket-keeper in the squad which means the right-hand batsman has recovered completely from the injury which was inflicted during the third Test.

The inclusion of Chris Woakes has strengthened England’s bowling department and also increased the depth of their batting. Woakes missed the fourth Test due to injury but is now back in the team. It will be interesting to see who will be benched to make space for Woakes in the playing XI. Moeen’s tremendous performance with the ball will intice Root to drop Adil Rashid who has failed to make any mark in this Test series so far.

James Anderson, Stuart Broad, and Sam Curran will handle the pace department while Moeen is sure to feature as the team’s primary spin weapon. The inclusion of Woakes will only enhance England’s bowling prospects which also includes Ben Stokes.

The fifth Test will begin on September 07. England has already won the series 3-1.

Chaitanya Laxman